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AGENCY & MANAGEMENT NEWS: IMG, CAA Forge Unique Alliance (Click on More to view all articles)

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Creative Artists Agency and sports and lifestyle marketing and management firm, IMG, have formed a collaborative alliance in the areas of speaker representation, licensing of entertainment properties and marketing of corporate clients. The alliance will involve IMG's existing speakers and licensing divisions. The two companies will also target opportunities in entertainment and sports marketing for joint representation. Generally, both companies will continue to operate independently.

A team of IMG executives, led by the late founder and CEO, Mark McCormack, has been working with CAA on the details of the alliance for some time.

"We have identified a number of meaningful places where the expertise of IMG and CAA intersect, and we are enthusiastic about the potential of this alliance with the best entertainment representation company," said Bob Kain, co-CEO of IMG. "IMG has been committed to growing and diversifying our business in keeping with our basic business model, and this new association is a logical next step. Mark McCormack initiated the discussions some time ago, and we had great response and input from key executives at IMG to move forward with CAA."

Richard Lovett, president of CAA, adds, "The cultures of CAA and IMG are perfectly suited to work together strategically and collaboratively. We knew from our first conversation with Mark McCormack years ago that our philosophy of teamwork and integration would add value in these specific areas. We have a growing and flourishing practice of entertainment marketing but know that this combination will provide an even more comprehensive level of services to our shared corporate clients in certain situations. We have been evaluating the licensing and speakers opportunities for a few years now. This makes perfect sense." – – By Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

CAA, Avon Partner

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Creative Artists Agency, which handles entertainment-marketing for Coca-Cola, Motorola and the Hollister division of Abercrombie & Fitch, has added Avon Products in New York to its list of clients. CAA was hired to develop entertainment marketing strategies for the new Mark line of makeup products. The target audience is younger women.

"Avon is thrilled to partner with CAA," said Deborah I. Fine, president of Avon Future, the Avon business unit responsible for the new venture. "With the breadth of their market intelligence, brand expertise and entertainment industry relationships, CAA understands the young market we aim to reach, and has an incredible insight in leveraging the right entertainment properties to make direct and lasting connections with this new consumer."

"The extraordinary history of Avon is one of female empowerment, inspiration and innovation," said CAA president Richard Lovett. "CAA looks forward to creating and putting into action an entertainment-based marketing strategy for mark that underscores and enhances these important ideals in a fun and relevant way for millions of young women." – By Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Bernie Williams Signs With MPL Communications

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — New York Yankees centerfielder/guitarist/composer Bernie Williams has signed with Sir Paul McCartney's MPL Communications, Inc., home to music penned by famed composers such as Harold Arlen, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, Frank Loesser, Bessie Smith and of course, Paul McCartney. Williams is the first Latin and jazz artist signed to MPL, continuing the company's recent addition of contemporary songwriters to its roster.

MPL represents seven of Williams' compositions for placement in film, television, advertising and alternative media. McCartney learned of Williams' musical gifts while attending his first Yankees game. "I was intrigued to hear his music, so when I heard his CD I was blown away by his talent," says McCartney. "Go Bernie, it's a home run!"

Williams says, "It's an honor to have one of the greatest songwriters in music history supporting my project. I've always been a big Beatles fan, and working with Paul McCartney and MPL Communications is a dream come true. It brings the whole album ("The Journey Within") project full circle." – By Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen